A large scale technological effort is required to insure that the nation has a dependable supply of critical minerals and fuels at socially and economically acceptable costs. The required level of technological effort implies governmental programs and the selection of institutions for the performance of research and development. The choice of institutions has profound implications for social, political, and economic structures; therefore, such choices must be carefully based on relevant criteria. Institutional criteria have not been heretofore developed in any comprehensive, analytical framework.
A. STRUCTURE, DESIGN, AND OBJECTIVES OF THE THESIS
The thesis addresses the question of the most suitable institutional arrangements which will best meet the national interest in the area of mineral resource development and technology. The challenges and requirements of the minerals sector are examined. Then the institutional practices of national research programs are investigated. These investigations lead to the development of criteria for institutional choice which are then applied to the particular features of the minerals sector. Alternative institutional possibilities are discussed, leading to specific recommendations for a national mineral resource development institution.
B. THE CHALLENGES AND REQUIREMENTS OF THE MINERALS SECTOR.
The principal challenge is keeping the real cost of minerals on a declining curve in the face of rapidly accelerating demand and decreasing supplies of high grade deposits and reservoirs. The need for environmental protection and pollution control complicates the problem. Technology is required to meet these challenges; however, the minerals sector is poorly equipped to provide the required technological effort. Minerals education is in decline. The minerals industry is relatively fragmented and not research intensive. There is no national policy on mining and minerals. Governmental efforts in minerals technology are relatively small and poorly coordinated.
C. IMPLICATIONS OF INSTITUTIONAL CHOICE
Since 1940, federal managers have utilized a bewildering array of institutional mechanisms for the accomplishment of public science programs. Institutional means have been bent to program ends. Results of this practice have included the intertwining of public and private enterprise, raising issues of governmental accountability and responsibility. Patterns of new federalism have developed which have reshaped the American political society. Criteria of institutional choice have not existed in any comprehensive framework, nor have their implications been analyzed.
D. CRITERIA FOR INSTITUTIONAL CHOICE
Twenty-five criteria are identified, discussed, and analyzed in relationship to institutional alternatives. These criteria are arranged in eight general categories as follows: Nature of the R&D Program; Merit of the R&D Program; Public and Private Interest; Efficiency and Effectiveness; Governmental Responsibility; Participation and Representation; Educational Considerations; and Technology Transfer and Past Practice.
E. INSTITUTIONS FOR MINERALS RESEARCH
Application of criteria of institutional choice to the problems of the minerals sector leads to the recommendation of the establishment of a National Institute of Minerals Research and Development (NIMRAD). This institution is designed to serve as a focal point for the revitalization and mobilization of technological effort in industry, education, and government. NIMRAD will also serve to translate national minerals policy into effective action.
Level of Degree
School of Public Administration
First Committee Member (Chair)
Albert H. Rosenthal
Second Committee Member
Lloyd Wilber Wooruff
Third Committee Member
John Mace Hunger
Lane, Larry M.. "Selecting Research Institutions for the Performance of Public Science Activities: Criteria for Institutional Choice in National Minerals Research Programs." (1970). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/padm_etds/75